McKnight: Dispelling the myth about Donnie Moore’s death

From Michael McKnight at on October 9, 2014:

The last game Donnie Moore pitched in took place on a drizzly day in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 11, 1989. The 35-year-old Moore—the oldest guy on the Omaha Royals’ roster by more than three years—entered the game in the sixth inning, facing loaded bases, a 5-0 deficit, and a fraction of the 3,678 fans who had been there in the first.

Wearing number 9, one of an embarrassing rotation of jerseys the former big-league All Star donned that summer for the AAA Royals, Moore threw a wild pitch to the first Iowa Cubs batter he faced, a 26-year-old who hit an ensuing pitch for a two-run double. Iowa’s number-nine hitter smacked an RBI single. Their 170-pound shortstop hit an RBI double. The onslaught finally ended when 24-year-old catcher Joe Girardi, who had led off the inning, popped up. Moore gave up another earned run in the seventh. The final score was 11-1. His earned run average for the season now stood at 6.39.

Moore and his teammate Bill Laskey, a 31-year-old righthander who was clawing to get back on a big league staff as desperately as Donnie, made the two-hour drive from Des Moines to Omaha that night in the mid-size rental they had been sharing since the beginning of the summer. It was after midnight when they rolled into the Ramada Inn at 72nd St. and Grover in Omaha—their home since mid-May. Their teammates lived in short-lease apartments, but Moore and Laskey wanted to be able to leave Omaha the moment Kansas City called one of them up.

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Originally published: October 9, 2014. Last Updated: October 9, 2014.